Benedictine Spirituality Christ Discernment Eastertide Gospel Lectio Divina Scripture Uncategorized

Overshadowed by love.

Photo by Alex Wigan on

Today celebrating the transferred feast of the Annunciation I’m struck by the mixture of calm, serenity, and chaos that it portrays. It’s generally depicted in art and literature as a beautiful moment of calm encounter between Gabriel and Mary, between heaven and earth, leading to Mary’s act of obedience.

That is certainly one aspect of the gospel, but as I reflected on it today I’m very aware that there is also another side to it. The news the angel brings to Mary must have been both surprising and overwhelming to a young, unmarried woman who was not expecting to become pregnant.

It must have seemed to her that she was facing at best a challenge and at worst a disaster. Yet in the midst of the upheaval she was able to find a way through the chaos to say yes. I’m especially struck by the angel’s response when she asks, “How can this be?” He replies:

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…”

His words take me back to the Spirit hovering over the waters at Creation drawing life out of chaos. That’s a comforting image image in these times when so much of our world seems to teeter on the brink of chaos. As we face a myriad of challenges and uncertainties this image offers hope and encouragement. I find it helpful to remember that however chaotic our situation the Spirit hovers, overshadowing us and promising new life.

Where do you need the Spirit’s overshadowing in your life this Eastertide?